Personal Essay Workshop

“In the best nonfiction, it seems to me, you’re always made aware that you are being engaged with a supple mind at work. The story line or plot in nonfiction consists of the twists and turns of a thought process working itself out.”

~Phillip Lopate~

The next six-session personal essay workshops begin 

Wednesday, July 11

10 AM to 12:30 PM

Monday, August 6

6 to 8:30 PM

at Mellwood Arts Center, Shape & Flow Writing Instruction, Studio 123

Cost:  $175

The root word of essay is  “assai,” which means “an attempt or first examination.” When we write essay, we use our powers of observation and personal experience to look more deeply at the world.  We combine exposition and story to create personal narratives that stand-alone, or can be gathered in a collection unified by a theme.  

In both memoir and personal essay, the narrator is the curious first person narrator-character.  Topics often spring from ideas gathered in careful observation. Essayists apply a first person point-of-view to write about travel, nature, personal experience, food, ideas and culture. Memoir reconstructs remembered experience using the techniques of fiction.

Essays are valued by magazines and literary journals. They vary in structure—linear, segmented, collage, hermit crab and list essays, long form and flash nonfiction.  One of my and my students’ favorite craft articles about essay structure is “Picturing the Personal Essay,” by Tim Bascom, published in the journal, Creative Nonfiction. 

On Wednesday, July 11,  from 10AM to 12:30, for six weeks, up to eight participants will read, write and study the personal essay with Kimberly Crum and a group of peer writers. Participants will complete  one weekly timed-writing prompt, -assigned published essays to read between meetings, and will receive peer commentary at two class meetings, using a strength-based process.  Participants will learn how to weave outside research into essays, use fictional techniques to create supporting anecdotes and reflect on their experiences in direct or indirect ways.  Each participant will practice and refine both critique and revision skills.

Begin your writing journey by reading and excerpt from the title essay of Barbara Kingsolver’s book, High Tide in Tucson.  

If you love to write, are by nature a curious person, and enjoy the give-and-take of a collegial group of writers, enroll today! Call Kimberly at 502-417-3424 or e-mail If you are interested or undecided, I will be pleased to meet with you at Studio 123 to discuss your writing goals.  Once you’ve enrolled, I will e-mail an electronic invoice that you can pay by credit card.  Or you may pay by check. Make advance checks payable to Shape & Flow and send to 1860 Mellwood Ave, Studio 123, Louisville, KY 40206-1033 .  


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